FinJuice Take World Tag League, Press Conference Sets The Table For Wrestle Kingdom
New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) began its annual World Tag League (WTL) tournament on November 16th. This entry looks at the teams who could still win the tournament as the league approaches the trophy ceremony. FinJuice (Juice Robinson and David Finlay) were able to take the trophies on December 8th.
FinJuice (Juice Robinson and David Finlay) were able to defeat Cold Darkness (Evil and Sanada) at the Hiroshima Green Arena in front of 4,383 in their first marquee headline match on a featured New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) event. World Tag League was a successful tournament for FinJuice and NJPW as both finished setting the stage for Wrestle Kingdom 14 on January 4th and January 5th.
At the December 9th Wrestle Kingdom press conference, NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi announced FinJuice will make their challenge for Guerrillas of Destiny’s (G.O.D.) IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship in their v8 defense on the first night of Wrestle Kingdom 14. Tanga Loa had the following to say about FinJuice’s victory.
Congrats to Juice and Finlay on winning the trophies last night, but this is their first time in this rodeo, and we’ve had the belts how many times now? We’ve been tagging for the past three years and one tournament gives these guys the right to challenge us in the Tokyo Dome? There are a lot of teams with that right to challenge, but they’ve won those trophies. So good on them. They get to challenge us on the biggest stage in professional wrestling, so that’s our gift to them. Merry Christmas.
Tama Tonga added the following.
Another thing that’s crossed my mind is we’ve never won a match in the Tokyo Dome. One year, we ran the tournament and then another team came in and put themselves into our match and stole it from us [Young Bucks at Wrestle Kingdom 13, after they did not compete in World Tag League]. So I don’t know how credible this tournament is, but here we go again. We’ll go at it at Wrestle Kingdom. I think these guys are real lucky. Juice has already had a partner [Mikey Nicholls] this year that we squashed in Australia, and now he has a new partner that’s been injured most of the year. He came in and they won? That’s real lucky. So come Tokyo Dome, we’ll show you how bad we can get and why we are five time IWGP Tag Team Champions.
FinJuice who are making their first challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship were respectful throughout the press conference. “They’re champions for a reason, and they’re a tough team to beat. You honestly have to have your heads on a swivel to face them, so we have to watch a lot of their matches and see if we can find any holes in their game,” said Finlay.
Robinson added, “I think it’s pretty obvious that we have to keep an eye on the Master Heater (Jado) with his kendo stick. Obviously me and Finlay have a different style to these guys. They’re badass dudes who like to play it rough outside the ring, and we like to keep it inside. So we have to play them at our game and stay out of theirs.”
G.O.D. defeated FinJuice on December 1st in the World Tag League, explaining their confidence going into the Wrestle Kingdom championship match. With the heavyweight tag team division seemingly revitalized after the World Tag League, G.O.D. could see a wave of new challengers wanting to become the aces of the division.
FinJuice has the opportunity to become a force in the tag team division for years to come and become a cornerstone like G.O.D. and Cold Darkness (Evil and Sanada) have become. On the latest episode of Kayfabe Brothers hosts Walter Yeates and Jonathan Ridgway discussed how Colt Cabana/Toru Yano, Mikey Nicholls/Jeff Cobb, and FinJuice would make solid full-time tag teams in the division. Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi could also make noise within the division in upcoming months.
Also announced at the press conference, Robinson has a title shot at the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against the winner of the Lance Archer (c) against Jonathan Moxley on January 5th. Meaning he has the opportunity to leave Wrestle Kingdom as a double champion.